How to Build a Salsa Garden

Who doesn’t love salsa?  There are vegetable and herbs that are absolutely necessary for anyone considering this fun container. Add a squeeze of lime at the end for a citrus “zing”!

Parsley
A biennial herb with flat or curly leaf varieties. This in an indispensable herb no matter what type of garden you are planting. Even if you don’t plant to use it in your cooking it makes a wonderful border plant.

Cilantro
This is an annual herb essential for the citrus, biting tang it adds to a salsa dish. Fresh cilantro has more flavor than the dried and will add a great zip to the salsa. Young fresh leaves are desirable.

Onions
Different types of onions will provide slightly different flavors for your salsa.

Garlic
The young greens are delicious fresh or cooked. Harvest the bulbs late in summer.

Peppers
Choose any sweet bell pepper. There are green, red and yellow types to choose from. If you like hot peppers, try one of the many hot varieties available.

 

Tomatoes
A paste type of tomato is best. Roma has medium sized, oblong tomatoes with a thick meaty flesh. Amish Paste has a tangy flavor and makes a good thick sauce.  Also plant a larger tomato such as Celebrity, Early Girl or Better Boy.

Tomatillos
A member of the tomato family, this little fruit is harvested while green and about 1” in diameter. These are not a necessity to the dish but they have a very tart flavor that adds a special punch to a salsa.

Growing Your Salsa Garden

 

  • Grow your salsa garden in as much sun as possible.
  • The tomatoes will need support of some kind, a cage, trellis or stake.
  • The peppers are usually self-supporting, but you may want to keep an eye on them and stake if necessary.
  • Fertilize early in the season with a time release product such as Osmocote or Jobe’s Tomato Spikes.
  • Water as needed but allow it to dry slightly between waterings.

Fresh Salsa
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1
/3 large onion, finely chopped

½  large green bell pepper, finely chopped
½ to 1 whole jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3-4 large Roma (paste) tomatoes, chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Juice from ¼ lemon

 

Mix ingredients together and serve, altering the recipe to suit your own taste preferences. Store covered in the refrigerator. To keep calorie and fat content low, serve with baked tortilla chips.

 

(Note: This salsa recipe has not been tested for safety for canning/ processing purposes.) 

 

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